Planning Guidelines

As an environmental organisation, we receive a considerable number of queries and consultations for planning applications. Read our planning guidelines here.

The Agency acts as a consultee to a range of statutory bodies in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as shown in the table below.


Northern Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Planning development

  • DoE Strategic Planning

  • Causeway Coast & Glens District Council

  • Derry & Strabane District Council

  • Fermanagh & Omagh District Council

  • Newry, Mourne & Down District Council

  • Donegal County Council

  • Louth County Council

Discharge Consents

  • DEARA (Water Management Unit)

  • Donegal County Council

  • Louth County Council

Abstraction & Impoundments



  • Forest Service

  • Coillte

Marine Licensing

  • DEARA Marine Division

  • Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Waste Licensing

  • Environmental Protection Agency

  • Donegal County Council

  • Louth County Council

Planning Appeals

  • Planning Appeals Commission

  • An Bord Pleannala

Habitats Directive

  • DEARA Natural Heritage

  • National Parks and Wildlife Service

Drainage and Flood Risk

  • Rivers Agency

  • Office for Public Works

Overview of Statutory Bodies and their role in consulting with Loughs Agency

Loughs Agency takes its role as a consultee very seriously, offering guidance on potential developments impacting inland fisheries and aquaculture in the Foyle and Carlingford regions. These developments span various sectors such as housing, roads, forestry, wind energy, hydroelectric projects, wastewater management, and agriculture.

Each proposal undergoes a thorough environmental risk assessment to gauge its impact on fisheries and the aquatic ecosystem. This assessment informs the conditions proposed and the information provided to planning authorities and statutory bodies.

Six primary factors guide the risk assessment process:

  1. Water Quality: Assessing whether the proposed development might exacerbate downstream pollution.

  2. Habitat Integrity: Evaluating the likelihood of damage or degradation to aquatic habitats.

  3. River Flow: Examining potential effects on flow and downstream habitats, particularly in Special Areas of Conservation for Atlantic salmon.

  4. Fish Passability: Determining if the proposal poses any obstacles to the movement of salmonids and other fish.

  5. Timing of Works: Considering specific constraints regarding timing and duration.

  6. Biosecurity: Identifying any invasive plant species present or nearby the site.